The Life of Buddha




    The Life of Buddha
    by André Ferdinand Herold, translated by Paul C. Blum

    This Life of Buddha is not a work of fiction, and I think it would be well to mention the books, both ancient and modern, which I have most frequently consulted.

    I have, for the most part, relied upon the LALITA-VISTARA. This book is a jumbled collection of legends and scholastic dissertations, and yet in these pages are preserved many precious traditions regarding the Buddha's origin, his childhood and his youth, and here, likewise, we are told of his early education and of his first deeds.

    I have also made great use of an excellent poem, the BUDDHACARITA of Asvaghosa. In a few of the chapters I have repeated the lines almost word for word. The text of the BUDDHACARITA was edited by E. B. Cowell.

    In the Life, I have interpolated several JATAKAS. These are stories in which the Buddha recalls his former lives. Some of them will be found in a vast collection, the AVADANASATAKA.

    Two modern books: LE BOUDDHA, by H. Oldenberg, translated by A. Foucher, and the HISTOIRE DU BOUDDHISME DANS L’INDE, by H. Kern, translated by Gédéon Huet, have also been very useful to me; as well as other works that have appeared in scientific reviews. Thus, for the touching story of Visvantara, I am indebted to a sogdian version published by R. Gauthiot in the JOURNAL ASIATIQUE.

    Finally, I would be guilty of the deepest ingratitude if I did not publicly thank my old friend Sylvain Lévi for his generous and kindly advice.

    And may the reader find of interest this marvellous story of Prince Siddhartha who, through meditation, was able to attain supreme wisdom.

    A. F. HEROLD

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